Over the hump

Extreme cold warning. That’s what it said yesterday morning on the Environment Canada weather site. -31C with a bit of a wind giving a windchill of -41C. At sunrise the temperature dropped, as usual, a few degrees to -34. Brrrrr. We’ve been in the deep freeze for the past couple weeks. Never quite this cold but hovering around the -25/-30 with windchill. And I wasn’t the slightest bit cold till yesterday. Usually I’m whining and whinging about the cold, but for the last ten days I’ve really enjoyed chores. I’ve found reasons to stay outside and just enjoy watching the animals. They have good food and warm beds and are in tip top shape. I dress up in my fur hat and coveralls that my ex bought me when I was pregnant with my son. Best adult Christmas present ever!! Now pig snot covered and mouse chewed, they are still the warmest and best designed coveralls I’ve ever seen and as I haven’t found a replacement equal in quality, I just keep wearing them. I do launder the pig snot out of them several times a season, but piggy just loves wiping her face on my knees. She is just giving me warning bumps to hurry up with her meal. But I think this cold snap is now broken. I always do the morning temperature test when I let the dog out in the morning. If I can stand on the porch in my slippers and counts stars without my toes freezing, it’s going to be a good day. 
And it is going to be a good day!!!
Enjoy it everyone!!

Hello winter my old friend

Well here we are again. In the deep freeze. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were more gradual, so man and beast could acclimatize. But no, it’s more like flipping a switch. The only good part is the sun. Out of the wind it’s almost pleasant. 
Everyone in the back is fat and happy. No shivering beasts and so far no frozen eggs. I made my big dog a roaster full of food–5 pounds of ground beef, a big scoop of lard, lentils, and pasta all roasted then stewed in the oven. Looks revolting but judging by the way she chowed it down, it must be delicious. I’ll take her word for it. 

When it’s cold the furnace must be fed, and fat is heat. The goats get grain, screenings mixed with sweet feed, itself a mix of corn, sugar beets, rolled barley, all coated with molasses. Lots of energy to keep warm. I lined up some second cut alfalfa hay from my neighbour but have yet to bring it home. Maybe this weekend. The alfalfa is also high in protein and calories, with few coarse stems so the goats, chickens and rabbits will eat it. 
The ponies get nothing extra yet. We do have some alfalfa cubes for them but they are truly so fat and well haired they don’t really need anything extra. 
The surplus roosters were butchered two weeks ago. The weather that weekend was incredible. There were only seven plus one young Guinea. They are supposed to be very tasty so we will see. My daughter helped and it went really quick. 
Time to start Christmas baking. I started slow by roasting a couple of sugar pie pumpkins. I love pumpkin and it’s warm and comforting on a cold winter day. I remember a spicy pumpkin soup we had in both Fiji and the Cook Islands. My sister met me in Fiji and we travelled to the Cook Islands where she got sick (that’s a whole other story). But on one of my solo ventures to the grocery store I bought a piece of a pumpkin (actually a huge squash but they called it pumpkin) and made a potful of soup with curry, garlic and spicy peppers. It was delish!! I’ll just whiz these up and freeze the purée for cookies, scones, pies…cheesecake!! Maybe even some soup. 
Romeo came for the winter. He’s different than last year but I thought he might throw some colourful babies. And two of the girls went to a new home. Here’s one of them peering out the truck cap window. Off on an adventure. 
And apart from vegging on the couch nothing else is new. So now we’re all caught up I’ll have to keep on top of writing. Keep warm!!